Pat’s 605 Guide to Choosing a BMX BikeBMX (or bicycle motocross), was developed in the late 1960s in California. Using the principles of motorcycle racing, the popularity of BMX rose rapidly in the early seventies and it remains a popular sport today. While it had its beginnings as a youth sport, BMX bicycling today is enjoyed by all ages. There are BMX competitions for all age groups, including young children.When choosing a BMX bike, you will want to select a durable bike with quality construction of the type most suited to the style of BMX bicycling you will be doing. Consumer Reports recommends local bicycle retailers for better quality bicycles at any price. We will be able to give you the right bike for your size and your cycling needs.
In general BMX bikes have a smaller frame than other bicycles, a single fixed gear, and handlebars that facilitate the high rider position of BMXing. Smaller-size BMX bikes are available for young riders. 20 inch wheels are the most common size wheels, but some riders have a preference for other sizes.
BMX bikes are typically made of chromoly steel or aluminum. Chromoly is stronger, and cheaper, but also slightly heavier. Aluminum frames are lighter and may come in oversized or decorative tubing. Aluminum is rust-proof, which can be nice as a BMX bike will generally accumulate scratches as part of normal off-road and trick riding.There are three subtypes of BMX bikes, and most will fall into one of these categories:Standard BMX: The standard BMX bike is used in dirt-track racing, but can be used for other types of biking as well. The Standard BMX has a lightweight frame, knobbed tires for traction on loose dirt-track terrain, and a rear-only brake to reduce the risk of the rider being thrown from the bike.Freestyle BMX: The freestyle BMX bike is designed for use at skate parks and on other paved surfaces, and ramps. It is designed for maximum trick-ability, with 2-4 axle pegs. These bikes are heavier than the standard BMX, more durable, and typically made with both front and rear brakes for trick variety and control. A detangler device routes the brake cables, making it possible to spin the handlebars without tangling the wires.
Jumper BMX: Jumper bikes are designed for maximum elevation and aerial acrobatics on jumps. The jumper is a hybrid of the standard BMX and freestyle bikes, with heavy-duty frame to withstand the impact of landings, and 36-48 thick spokes for tough wheels. The jumper BMX is usually outfitted with tires that have good grip and durability to survive treacherous terrain.BMXing carries similar risk of injury to other sports that involve high speeds and stunts. To reduce your risk of being hurt, wear the appropriate safety equipment. You will want to purchase a helmet, knee pads, and riding gloves as soon you select your BMX bike so that your BMXing will get off on the right foot, and you will have the freedom to attempt the full range of stunts.